New Star GP Review

New Star GP header

As F1 continues to ride high on the heady fumes of Drive to Survive, New Star GP is cannily set to draft effortlessly behind it. Bringing a retro-inspired take on the sport that focuses on the same crowd-pleasing action we’ve seen from the studio’s previous sports titles like the stunning Retro Bowl, New Star GP allows players to take their team through multiple decades of Formula 1 racing.

New Star GP is clearly influenced by SEGA’s classic Virtua Racing, and the chunky polygonal visuals have been scrubbed up to a modern sheen with both an eye for detail and the occasional nod and a wink to the crowd. There’s a wry sense of humour, and a clear passion for the sport it’s recreating, as back office staff like accountant Penny Counter and opponents like Niki Laube mean there’s always a smile on your face.

That smile will remain firmly embedded when you take to the circuit, with New Star GP offering its own take on a raft of real-life tracks like Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring, though here tracks appear with alternate names like Northampton and Vienna to avoid any licensing issues.

New Star GP Australia

The single-player campaign sees you start off in the 1980s, with a suitably slower and visually different car to those we see whizzing around on track in the modern day. Each season features 10 grand prix races, but alongside these, there’s practice sessions, time trials and elimination races to put down rubber in as well.

Doing well in each event will earn you currency to spend on upgrading your car, and Star Points which unlock new back-office perks. These perks are all related to different members of your crew, whether it’s your pit chief, chief engineer or accountant, and you have to balance these relationships in order to keep them happy, otherwise they’ll complain to the press and potentially even leave. Perhaps you can succeed where real life figures have not – just make sure to keep the phone calls professional.

New Star GP staff perks

Racing in New Star GP is certainly focused on arcade thrills, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t also reward smart driving and tactics. Each race sees you having to weigh up your tyre selection, and the amount of fuel to fill your tank with, as well as planning out your pit strategy. Out on the track you have to keep an eye on your fuel, while you gain a full burst of nitro/DRS with each successive lap where you again need to use tactically.

Races aren’t just won on driving smarts, but also by getting in and out of the pit lane as swiftly as possible, and at the right time. The simple mini-game you have to take part in means it remains both an interactive experience and one which you are responsible for, and you’ll be whooping with delight when it all comes together.

New Star GP pit stops mini-game

That’s doubly, triply or quadruply true if you’re playing in local multiplayer with up to three friends/rivals/enemies. We’ve had some serious Formula 1 battles since making a start in New Star GP, and you can choose to work your way through a selection of pre-made cups or create your own championship of up to 10 races. Whatever you’re doing, it’s intense, hugely competitive and, most importantly, good enough to keep you coming back time and time again.

Summary
New Star GP captures the intense racing action of an F1 season, from on track action and pit strategy to building your team, but does so without losing any of the fun of an arcade racer.
Good
  • Involving racing action
  • Compelling visuals
  • Pit mechanics raise it above your average arcade racer
Bad
  • No online multiplayer
8
Written by
TSA's Reviews Editor - a hoarder of headsets who regularly argues that the Sega Saturn was the best console ever released.